Memory and Study Strategies Presentation


‘Memory and Study Strategies’ Presentation A Quick Note about Study Strategies Classes Just like the first year of college and just
like first year students and college students as a whole, academic support services and
study strategy courses have received a lot of attention. And, just like the other topics
we’ve covered, the results of research about the effectiveness of such programs and services
is mixed. Here is what I want us to focus on from this
body of research, that students tend to dislike these types of services or not use these services
at all for the following four reasons: first, that students believe they cannot change,
that they are incapable of learning new strategies and techniques or adapting old ones; second,
that students don’t want to change, their old techniques worked just fine in high school
and, if applied, will work just fine in college; third, that students don’t know what to
change, that they are unsure of what techniques can be carried over from high school to college,
what techniques should be developed further in order to be more successful, and what techniques
should be dropped completely; and, forth, that students don’t know how to change (Dembo
and Seli, 2004). The next part of this presentation will provide
students with an overview of the Standard Memory Model; how any type of sensory input
is taken in and transformed into a representation that can be placed into memory, how that representation
is stored or encoded in such a way that it is retained in the memory, and how you can
retrieve or gain access to that stored information (Sternberg and Williams, 2010). Students will
participate in a short exercise designed to assist them in thinking about how they take
in information, store and retrieve it. This presentation will conclude with a brief overview
of different resources about study strategies, which students will use to complete the Week
Four Discussion Forum and Week Four Journal Assignment. Memory What is memory? For the purpose of this presentation,
we are going to use the following definition, that “memory is the active mental mechanisms
that enable people to retain and retrieve information about past experiences” (Baddeley,
1999; Crowder, 1976 as cited in Sternberg and Williams, 2010, p. 270). This is just
one definition, and the Standard Memory Model is just one model of how memory works. If
interested, students are encouraged to consult with the Reference Librarian for additional
sources of information about memory. For our purposes this week, we are going to focus
on sensory input, retention of this sensory input or how the memory of the experience
is retained, and finally, how the retained input is retrieved and used in some way by
the student. Let’s start by looking at the environment
that you are interacting with. As students, we’ll focus on the stereotypical classroom.
In this classroom, the instructor is providing information in several ways: first, as notes
on the board, second, as spoken word, and third as an interactive activity that students
in the class complete as members of small groups. In this example, you are taking in
information from your environment in a number of ways including visually, aurally, and kinesthetically.
As this information is coming in through your senses, it is put into short-term memory.
How long this information stays in short-term memory depends on what you do with it. If
you do nothing with the information you are taking in through your senses, you may loose
it within a matter of seconds; if you consciously choose to do something (which we’ll define
in a minute) with the information, you could retain it for a few minutes or, depending
on how invested you are, you could possible retain the information for life (Sternberg
and Williams, 2010). As I stated earlier, unless you consciously
choose to do something with this input, you’re going to forget it within a few moments. This
‘thing’ you could decide to do is called “rehearsal…[or] the repeated recitation
of an item” (Sternberg and Williams, 2010, p 273). You probably do this everyday and
have since as far back as you can remember. What do I need from the grocery store; what
was that persons phone number; how do I take my coffee; how do I operate my car; what classes
do I have today and what building is the classroom in? The amount of recitation or practice and
the level of sophistication of this practice will have an impact on your ability to retain
the information over a long period of time and be able to retrieve the information and
put it to use. Let’s do a short exercise to try and illustrate
this point. I’m going to read a series of words and these words will appear on the screen.
As I am reading this list of words, DO NOT write them down. I am then going to give you
one minute after I have finished reading this list of words to write down as many as you
can remember. With me? Alright, here we go. ANGEL, pencil, classroom, computer, textbooks,
professor, FAFSA, Washington Hall, registration, SUNY, discussion, syllabus, research, students,
Timberwolves, transfer, advisement, graduation, major, library. Okay, you have one minute on the clock. Try
to recall as many words as you can in the next sixty seconds. Alright, times up. Here is the list of words
again on the screen and I’ll read through them now: ANGEL, pencil, classroom, computer,
textbooks, professor, FAFSA, Washington Hall, registration, SUNY, discussion, syllabus,
research, students, Timberwolves, transfer, advisement, graduation, major, library. Did you get all twenty? Between fifteen and
twenty? Between ten and fourteen? Less than ten? The number you remembered in this activity
isn’t important. What’s important is what you did to try and remember them. For example,
did you pick up on what all of these words had in common? That’s right, they are all
things associated with SUNY Adirondack. As I was reading them aloud, did you try repeating
the words to yourself? Did you try to make-up a story about the different words and how
they may fit together? Whatever you did, that’s a type of rehearsal
and this is a good place to transition to the last part of this presentation, study
strategies. Study Strategies Here is what this part of the presentation
isn’t going to cover: specific things you can do to improve your time management, note
taking, or other academic self-regulatory processes. Developing a list and making suggestions
of specific techniques are things that you are going to do to help each other as part
of the Week Four Discussion Forum. What this part of the presentation is going
to cover are sources of information that you can use to find out about different techniques
for improving your time management, note taking, and in-and-out of class behavior to assist
you in improving academically. Also, in this part of the presentation, I’m going to make
one last attempt at connect the importance of understanding how memory works and about
knowing yourself and ways that you can improve your chances for success in college, and even
in the work place. Sources of Information The Internet is a great place, however, it
has both good and bad neighborhoods. Here are some sources I’d recommend and I’ll
include the necessary links within the Week Four folder in ANGEL: Study Guides and Strategies, a web site that
contains links, articles, and even interactive web-based exercises on everything from time
management and working in groups to different memorization techniques and tips for organizing
projects. I’ve used this site for years and highly recommend it. Learning Disabilities Pride is another web
site that I’ve used for a while now and while it is geared towards individuals with
learning disabilities, there are resources available through this site that are general
enough for all learners, regardless of ability or disability. Finally, if you are into assessments, I’d
recommend the VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles web site. This site contains a learning
styles assessment and different resources for learning study techniques that match your
strengths as an individual learner. Real quick. As you are working your way through
these sites, you may be tempted to purchase a book or manual or assessment results. DON’T.
Take advantage of the resources available on-campus such as books in the library, hand-outs
available from the counselors or the Center for Reading and Writing, or do another web
search on the topic you are looking for. You’ll probably be able to find additional sources
of free information, especially from different college or university web sites. For example,
the University of Minnesota at Duluth, as part of their online Student Handbook, has
a great Study Strategies Homepage with links to all sorts of information. Quick Overview of Assignments Week Four Discussion Forum For the Week Four Discussion Forum, students
are required to create an original post about their study strategies and techniques. How
do you manage your time? Read a textbook? Study for exams? Share what’s worked for
you with the class. As we’ve been doing, after you’ve created your original post,
comment on at least two classmates posts. By the end of Week Four, our discussion forum
will serve as an additional resource of suggestions for different study strategies. I’ll convert
the Discussion Forum into a PDF file that you can download to reference in the future. Additional instructions can be found in the
‘Week Four Discussion Forum’ Week Four Journal Assignment For the Week Four Journal Assignment, I want
you to respond to the following statement: I am a great student who earns the grades
I want to earn and do not need any help with my courses. As with previous journal assignments, your
submission should be a page long. Additional instructions can be found within
the ‘Week Four Journal Assignment’. Due Dates All assignments must be posted by midnight
on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 to receive full credit. All late submissions will receive
75% of the original points possible for the assignment. Remember, any late assignments must be submitted
by Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in order to receive any points. No late assignments will
be accepted after midnight on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. Contact Information If you have any questions you can email me
at [email protected] You can also post in the ‘Raise Your Hand’
Discussion Forum. This forum is located in ANGEL and I encourage students to use this
and to interact with one another. Get in the habit of checking this discussion each time
you access the course in ANGEL. You may be able to answer your classmates question or
provide insight or suggestions. References Dembo, M.H., & Seli, H.P. (2004). Students’
resistance to change in learning strategies courses. Journal of Developmental Education,
27(3), 2-11. Sternberg, R.J., & Williams, W.M. (2010).
Educational psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

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